Melissa Benoit

Your desensitization

Your desensitization
Before the day that you are booked for desensitization you will require an additional IV access site for the antibiotic to be given.

On the day of your desensitization, you will be transferred to the 14th floor step-up unit at around 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. Once you are upstairs the nurse will prepare the equipment to monitor your vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. He or she will also check your IV access line and put the finishing touches on all the doses of antibiotic to be given to you.

The whole desensitization process will take about 8-10 hours. After your first dose you will receive increasing concentrations of the antibiotic throughout the process. Your nurse will ask you if you are experiencing any reactions and your vital signs will be monitored after every dose throughout the procedure. If at any time during the procedure you notice either the same symptoms as your original reaction or any new allergic symptoms, please let your nurse know immediately. These could include rash, hives, itchiness, tachycardia (fast heart rate), hypotension (low blood pressure), bronchospasm (airway constriction), wheals, or angioedema (swelling under the skin).

Once the desensitization is finished, you will return to your regular room and you will continue to receive the full dose of the antibiotic on a regular schedule. Your nurses will give you the antibiotic at strict times because we don't want you to lose your desensitization. There is less risk of you experiencing an allergic reaction if we keep a more consistent level of antibiotic, but please let your team know if you do experience any allergic symptoms at any time during your treatment.